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Thread: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Jedi Knight
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    Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    http://www.britishv8.org/Other/BruceUchida.htm
    "Custom designed and fabricated bonnet hinges that pivot and move the bonnet forward as it opens up. (With these fitted, the back of the bonnet doesn't rub against the bulkhead. Dzus fasteners hold the bonnet down.)"
    The above article was published in 2008, and I'm really intrigued by his forward tilting bonnet, as it's probably the most tasteful/subtle I've seen. Does anyone have any information on the design? Drawings???? I couldn't find anything on the Internet with any additional information. Thanks, Doug

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    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Looks like and expensive design to fabricate. With my present front tilt setup the L Bracket can pivot and rock forward when the bonnet is opened. When I close the bonnet I need to rock the L bracket back so bonnet can go up against the bulkhead. When lowering, bonnet will typically want to move to one side or another and not come down straight. I find with Bugsy's bonnet best if I stand on the DS to lower the bonnet and make sure lower edge of the bonnet does not contact the top of the inner fenderwells. Already have some gouges to fix on my paint, but with Rustoleum, fixing is very simple and almost painless. IF I had spent major money I would be crying after the first time the bonnet went down and nicked the top of the inner fender.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    I got so tired of the bonnet shifting in every direction that I finally decided to come up with a cheap solution thatís easy to make. I bent the entire rear lip of the bonnet so itís at 90*, added some self adhesive rubber weatherstrip along the cowl and installed a HDPE strip with a groove cut in it to position the bonnet. The HDPE has a groove with a 35* entry Ďrampí to guide the bonnet into the right position every time and it works. I also installed some semi hidden latches in the front wheel well that lock the bonnet into place side to side and keep it there.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Darth Vader Bayless's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    That does fit nice and I like those hidden latches.
    Was Man nicht im Kopf hat muss Man in den Beinen haben
    '48 Ford Prefect
    '67 Sprite (project)
    '74 Super Beetle
    http://enfoprefect.org

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Rut - is there a part number or description for the HDPE strip? Or did you cut the groove yourself? And any special advice regards sourcing latches that fit behind the wheel. Your public wants to know.... Thanks, Doug

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Doug,
    I just bought a sheet of HDPE 3/4” thick stock and cut it to length, height and sanded a little off so it would fit in the lip on the cowl. I think I bought a 1’x2’ piece if you want me to mail you some since I have more than I will ever need. The latches can be mounted in the fender well up or down since the hook part swivels and adjusts for length. https://www.ebay.com/itm/SOUTHCO-A1-...kAAOSwqzJc9dYH
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Thanks Rut, but no thanks. We probably won't go the front tilt thing, but figured I should at least find out how to do it right. And it'll be a few more months before we fish the Bugeyes out to see the light of day again. Thanks again, Doug

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    Jedi Warrior BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Nice fit on he forward tilt bonnet Rut. Would you have any photos of how you bent the hood and how the HDPE sets in the cowl? Thanks

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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMax View Post
    Nice fit on he forward tilt bonnet Rut. Would you have any photos of how you bent the hood and how the HDPE sets in the cowl? Thanks
    I’m in the woods until Sunday afternoon and will post some pictures when I get back.
    Rut
    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Darth Vader Rut's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Allen,
    Sorry Iím so late getting these pictures...down in the back again. I should have finished the body modifications before paint! The bonnet edge now points straight down and fits into the hdpe slot that has about a 35* angle cut in the front followed by a groove that accepts the bonnet edge. I have rubber weather strip along the cowl that the latches snug the bonnet up to. I cut the hdpe the correct height so the bonnet can rest on it and not just the edge flange. Depending on how wide you want the gap the groove can be cut closer or further away from the cowl. Itís very simple and works every time.
    Rut
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    Rut, '60 Bugeye, '70 MGB, '62 TR4, '66 TR4a IRS, '67 TR4a IRS, '68 TR4a IRS, '72 TR6

    When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life. John Lennon


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    Jedi Warrior BlueMax's Avatar
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    Re: Bruce Uchida Front Tilting Bonnet, 2008

    Hope you recover quickly Rut.. Thank you for your extra photos!!!!

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